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Five of our favourite British artisan designers

By 17th February 2021Articles, Lifestyle, News

Left to right: Florian Gadsby pottery, Josey Goodin basket

Five of our favourite British artisan designers

From abstract quilts to crackle glaze pots, these talented makers put a contemporary spin on traditional craft techniques.

Tessa Layzelle, textile artist

Inspired by an image of a quilt she saw in a biography on French artist Sonia Delauney a decade ago, Tessa Layzelle decided to take the painterly compositions and colour skills learnt during her fine art degree and apply them to textiles. Fast forward to now and her signature collections of appliqué quilts – which are made from off-cuts and salvaged fabrics – include whimsical ‘Night/Day Time’ designs featuring stars, planets and clouds and ‘Ship-Shape’, a series of hand-stitched, hand-dyed abstract heirloom baby blankets made to fit a moses basket and then be hung on the wall. One-of-a-kind pieces can be commissioned too.

Flora Jamieson, stained glass artist

The natural world, children’s book illustrations, 1970s graphic design…these are some of the eclectic influences behind Flora Jamieson’s contemporary stained glass compositions. Having first peeked into a stained-glass workshop on a visit to Salisbury Cathedral as a child, it was an evening class that piqued her interest again years later. Now she splits her time between new designs, bespoke commissions and restoring or reproducing heritage windows. ‘Restoration is a fantastic opportunity to really study stained glass painters who were at the top of their game in the Victorian era – they had such beautiful, fluid, effortless brush strokes and it pushes me to strive for that level of craftsmanship in my own work,’ she says.

Gareth Neal, furniture maker

Whether it’s a collaboration with Orkney-based furniture maker Kevin Gauld on the Brodgar Occasional chair (now part of the V&A Museum’s collection); working with embroidery and braiding specialist Aimee Betts on a specially commissioned ash sideboard; or creating a series of 3D printed vessels made from sand, Gareth Neal is interested in telling stories, rooted in tradition. As well as designing several dining tables (wood is his go-to material), he is also currently developing a new chair with basket maker Anne Marie O’Sullivan. ‘The application of willow to furniture is quite unique and it looks so wonderful,’ he enthuses.

Florian Gadsby, potter

Anyone who follows potter Florian Gadsby on instagram will be familiar with the processes behind his crackle glaze tableware, which he documents in fascinating video posts. Recently these have included making the handles for a set of stoneware teapots, part of a series of work for ‘The Impossibility of Repetition’ exhibition which is set to run at Bruton’s Make Hauser & Wirth gallery in spring. He restocks his online shop several times a year (it sells out immediately) with everything from hand-thrown mugs to jars. Before setting up on his own he was an apprentice at Maze Hill Pottery and for ceramicist Ken Matsuzaki in Japan, and cites his influences as Guan ware and celadon from China.

Josey Goodin, basket maker

Taught by his father in rural Nova Scotia, Bristol-based Josey Goodin has been hand-weaving decorative baskets from ash for the last twenty years. ‘For me it’s a way to connect to nature, express my creativity, and honour the basket makers that have passed on these traditional skills for centuries,’ says Goodin, who harvests and processes the ash himself to create the strips, before adding in other locally sourced woods for the hoops, handles and lids. ‘Although time consuming and physically demanding, I find making baskets a very meditative process.’ @jg_baskets

Article written by Emma Love.

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